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August 21, 2009

Update on Higher Ed and Swine Flu

Today, this news article from the CDC provided an update to recommendations on managing swine flu on college campuses.

Swine Flu May Not Close College Classrooms: CDC: http://beta.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.aspx?docid=630259

While there is much more in the article, here are the key points they wanted to pass along.

* Colleges should encourage good flu-preventive hygiene, such as frequent hand washing, routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, and "coughing etiquette," such as covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue or a sleeve.

* Urge students and staff to get a flu shot once they become available, especially higher-risk individuals, such as pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

* If students do get sick, "self-isolation" is key. Ideally, students who live in dorm-type housing should, if they can, return to the family home for the duration of their illness (using a taxi or private vehicle). If they cannot, they should refrain from close contact with other students, relying on phone, e-mail, texting and the Internet to keep up with schoolwork and family and friends.

* In some cases, a "flu buddy" system might be helpful -- students pair up to exclusively care for each other if one becomes ill. Individuals should leave isolation only after 24 hours have passed without fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicines).

* Students or staff should not require a doctor's note to prove they are ill, since such requirements could swamp already overburdened clinics, the CDC said.

For specifics on this press release, see the following.

* CDC Guidance for Responses to Influenza for Institutions of Higher Education during the 2009-2010 Academic Year
* Communication Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education
* Technical Report on CDC Guidance for Responses to Influenza for Institutions of Higher Education during the 2009-2010 Academic Year

For more information on this topic or to register for email alerts and updates, please go to:
Flu.gov: School Planning: http://www.flu.gov/plan/school/index.html

To track this topic and others, please visit Flu.gov.

Posted by pfa at August 21, 2009 02:45 PM


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